The Effect of Live Music Therapy for Patients Undergoing Magnetic resonance Imaging

This article outlines a current study where the researcher was looking to identify the effects of live music therapy interventions in comparison to the client’s preferred recorded music during MRI scans. Before this study there had not been a previous study completed on live music therapy interventions during MRI scans.  The study was completed with participants ranging from teenagers to adults.  Their ages ranged from 15-93 years old with the total number of participants being 88.  

The participants were split into a control group, and a group with the live music therapy intervention protocol.  The control group listened to preferred recorded music within three different types of scans, MRI, lumbar scan, and brain scan.  The live music therapy intervention protocol was provided within the same three types of scans (MRI, lumbar, and brain). The results indicated that participants who had the live music therapy protocol had significantly better perception of the MRI procedure (p<.05).  The participants receiving the live music therapy protocol had to repeat their scans less.  Within the repeated scans 26% of them were within the live music therapy protocol, and 73% were within the recorded music control group.  Only 2% of the live music therapy protocol participants requested a break while 17.6% of the recorded music control group participants requested a break. When comparing the same types of scans within the groups the participants in the live music therapy protocol participant’s scans took less time than the recorded music scans. For lumbar scans the live music therapy protocol participants spent 4.63 less minutes per scan. For the brain scans the live music therapy protocol spent 5.8 less minutes per scan.

These results support using live music therapy protocol during MRI, lumbar, and brain scans in patients ranging from teenage to adults to reduce anxiety within the participants as well as increase their understanding of the procedure.  These results are cost saving for hospitals as the live music therapy protocol has the potential to reduce the amount of time per scan; therefore, increasing the number of scans and the productivity of the hospital.

By Kylie Kirksey, MM, MT-BC

Journal of Music Therapy, Volume 47, Issue 4, 1 December 2010, Pages 335–350,